Most homebuyers know that they need to schedule a property inspection in between getting an offer accepted and closing on the property. But as a seller, are you aware of the importance and need for having a pre-listing inspection done on your property? It’s one of the best ways to gain and advantage in your negotiations with prospective buyers.
What is a Pre-Listing Inspection?
You might not realize that pre-listing inspections are a thing, but they’re actually becoming quite popular across all segments of the market.
As Realtor Magazine explains, “A pre-listing inspection focuses on proper functionality of all major systems and components of the house: heating and cooling; electrical; plumbing; roof and structure; siding; and doors and windows. It’s a full inspection for the seller to better understand the condition of their home prior to the buyer’s inspection.”
Armed with this information, a seller ends up in a stronger position to attract the best possible offers.
5 Benefits of Getting a Pre-Listing Inspection
While a pre-listing inspection will cost you a few hundred bucks, it’s money well spent. Here are some reasons why:
- Chance to Do Repairs in Advance
You don’t need to fix everything when selling a house. (Reasonable buyers understand that they’re not purchasing brand new construction.) But a pre-listing inspection allows you to address any major issues ahead of time. This reduces the likelihood that a buyer would walk away during the due diligence phase.
If nothing else, it gives you some additional clarity and insight. As Green Residential explains, “[A pre-listing inspection provides] a knowledge of deficiencies, which can allow you to get estimates for repairs.”
Either way – whether you choose to do the repairs or simply get estimates for what the work would cost – this advanced insight will help you make wise decisions.
- Selling Point
You can actually use the fact that you had a pre-listing inspection as a selling point – particularly if it came back fairly clean.
You can say something in the listing like, “Just had a pre-listing inspection from a certified home inspector and no issues found with any of the home’s major systems! All minor issues already remediated.”
Your buyer will probably still order their own inspection, but this puts people at ease and makes them more likely to put in an offer.
- Greater Leverage
A pre-listing inspection gives you a much better picture of the property’s condition. In turn, this makes it easier to price your listing competitively. (When combined with local market data and comps, you can get a super accurate price.)
You and your agent can work together with the home inspector to get an idea of the right price point (after all repairs are taken into account). This also increases the amount of leverage you have in your negotiations with prospective buyers. When you know what repairs will likely come up, you’re already two steps ahead.
- Speeds Up the Process
One of the more frustrating aspects of selling a house (or buying one, for that matter) is how long the process can take between having an offer accepted and officially closing. A pre-listing inspection allows you to address big issues ahead of time and not be blindsided by lots of smaller issues. The result is a faster and more efficient closing process.
- Gain Credibility and Trust
Trust plays a huge role in a smooth sales process. Buying a home is a massive investment for a buyer and the last thing they want to do is work with a shady seller who seems like they’re hiding important information. By getting a pre-listing inspection, you’re basically telling the buyers that you’re an open book.
“Anything that a seller can do to gain the trust of buyers is an advantage over sellers who do not do this, because buyers want to feel safe and secure in their decision to purchase your home,” Spectora mentions.
Once you have a buyer’s trust, everything else goes much smoother.
Maximize Your ROI
When selling a property, the objective is always to maximize the rate of return. And though a pre-listing inspection increases your expenses as a seller, it almost always provides an exponentially higher return at closing. So do yourself a favor and schedule one prior to sticking that for-sale sign in your freshly mowed lawn.